I used to be super dad and bring my son to tournaments, feeding him grapes during matches and otherwise letting him crawl until he wandered too far and I needed to chase him down and pull him back, but that has not been so possible since he began walking and reaching well over the table and pulling games and toys off shelves. Now he has to stay home with his mom, and that can be tricky when she has to work half the weekends in a year. However, my wife had this past weekend off, and wouldn’t you know it? There wasn’t one but two tournaments, on separate days even. Imperial Assault on Saturday and Game of Thrones on Sunday. She was okay watching him both days, and I was free to game all weekend. I was hyped.
So my weekend of woe and futility began. Enjoy.
Despite my success with “Luke Skywalker, Rancor Whisperer” at the Minnesota regionals, I was looking to try something new. The thought was building a counter list with plenty of stun to slow down the Rancors and new Lukes I was expecting. I couldn’t quite get it right in a Rebel build and settled on building around General Sorin. Seemed a lot more interesting since the release of Advanced Com Systems. The rest of the list came naturally from there. Regular HK Assassin Droids since they had destroyed me in my top 4 match, elite Jet Troopers to finally get some use out of the Vehicle command cards, and Vinto Hreeda and an Imperial Officer to fill out the space.
Let’s not spend too much time dwelling on the command cards. I screwed them up hard. Reinforcements doesn’t even work on elite Jet Troopers, and Overcharged Weapons only allows a single attack even with two units of Jet Troopers, both of which I only realized in match. That’s what you deserve when you build your list the night before.
It was held at the Fulton Taproom, a nice change from the Fantasy Flight Event Center and local game shops. The tables were plenty big, the beer was tasty and it was reasonably quiet until they started ringing the gong for tours.
Against P, Mercenary Hunters on One Man’s Trash
Always good to start your tournament with a match against the champion of the Nebraska regionals. He ran the same list (two elite Weequay Guards, elite Gamorrean Guard, Vinto Hreeda, Jabba the Hutt, Onar Koma and Devious Scheme and a command deck full of damage and defense die removal) that won him that tournament, and it was an absolute slaughter.
I felt good at the start. Sorin focused everyone he could in the process of blowing open the door to the objectives while P settled for hiding his Weequays without even attacking his door. I took the initiative on the second round, and it promptly all fell apart. I sent my Jet Troopers in to scoop far objectives with their mobility. P ignored the objectives and went right for the throat, killing one of the Jet Troopers and getting everyone else up close. My Vinto made a desperate dash through the hallway to attack Jabba and open a new front, but a focused Weequay one shot him before he made a roll.
I scored 16 points on objectives in the third round, while Onar knocked out Sorin. Didn’t feel like I was making a match of it because I wasn’t. P continued to move in, and Gamorreans did work knocking out an HK and another Jet Trooper. I managed to kill a single Gamorrean (my only) before he reached 40 points purely through murder.
A final score of 40 to 20 flattered me because I was absolutely ineffective and never did anything to give me a chance to win the game.
Against E, Imperial Defense on To Your Stations!
E says that he only began playing skirmish a month ago. That’s good. He also beat the runner up at the Nebraska regionals in the last round. That’s bad. He’s running a defensive Imperial build (elite Snowtroopers, Royal Guard, two elite Jet Troopers, Captain Terro and Zillo Technique) that liked keeping units close for extra blocks from the Royal Guards and healing from the Snowtroopers. It’s definitely different from the offense I faced last round.
We start slowly. I send most of my units to the far, lone station while Sorin and the HKs hang back with their guns pointed at the intersection between the doors. E sends Captain Terro toward the far station and a Royal Guard races to claim one of the top two stations, but the majority of his forces stay in formation and move through the door into the intersection. One of his Jet Troopers snipe one of mine, but it’s quiet.
Next round my HKs tear into the formation with focus, but they’re a tough nut between the defenses of Zillo and Guards and heals. Still, a few Snowtroopers and a Jet Trooper fall on his side in exchange for a Jet Trooper and Vinto whom I had pushed too far ahead. E is a little ahead on points here but makes two crucial mistakes in this round. One, he pulls the Guard off the station to support his forces. Two, he doesn’t push his forces any closer to the HKs, leaving them free to continue attacking from a range he can’t match. The match was only decided by five points. Holding the objective for another two rounds or halting the slaughter of my HKs could have won him the match.
I take initiative in the third round, and the HKs continue their bloody work, claiming three Jet Troopers with Sorin’s assistance. Captain Terro kills one of my Jet Troopers in return and has a chance to win on the Royal Guard activation if one can kill a Jet Trooper while the other claims the objective, but the Guard can’t punch through. The match is just narrowly mine.
Against M, Mercenary Hunters on Lair of the Dianoga
Now I get to face the runner up in the Nebraska regional, playing the same list as P earlier but switching HKs for the Gamorreans. I was glad to see the map since I had seen before what HKs can do with the space but not so happy to see them in his list as well.
We both focus on the dianoga in the first round, but M begins advancing his units, sending a Weequay and Onar down the near hallway while the rest of his Weequays and Vinto go the long way around.
I lose two Jet Troopers before the dianoga falls in the second round, but it’s a comedy of errors. I have never seen worse dice. If M looked worse for it, it’s only because he rolled more. A focused Onar couldn’t make range four on Sorin in the second round and is blown away by two HK attacks before he could try again. M’s HK rolling an extra red with Tools for the Job couldn’t finish the dianoga’s last four health and gift wraps the glory of the kill and extra points for my Vinto, with me barely coming out ahead 14 to 11.
The third round is wholesale massacre. I negate M’s attempt to steal the initiative and immediately one shot the Weequay who had been accompanying Onar. My Jet Trooper manages nine damage in a single activation through Overrun and a finishing blow on an HK.
Unfortunately, M’s third round is even better. Critically, one of his HKs manages to one shot a full-health, unactivated General Sorin at nine range. It was ridiculous, even considering he removed Sorin’s defense die, but fair considering how poorly the dice had treated him earlier. That effectively ended the match as Sorin was primed to order an HK to kill another Weequay. His Vinto knocks out my last two Jet Troopers through Bolt Slinger, and that’s game.
So that’s my day. I go 1 and 2 and place terribly since the organizers were experimenting with MoV. But I had fun.
Elite Weequays have better range than you’d expect and pack a punch with Hidden’s extra surge. With the Hunter command cards, they’re probably the best groups in the game right now with HKs and Alliance Rangers close behind.
HKs are brutal, especially when they can recycle focus, but Sorin probably isn’t quite worth it. He’s nine points of support with Advanced Com System and only a single activation. Gideon and C-3PO are fewer points even through Mercenary’s Temporary Alliance, more activations and more flexible focus. The stun never mattered.
Murder is a perfectly acceptable way to score points.
Read the bloody command cards.
Thanks to my opponents. Thanks to my wife for spending the day with the boy. Thanks to P for hosting somewhere new. Thanks to M and P for the excellent custom point trackers. Thanks to Eat at Sandy’s for brilliant fries.